Latics face a tough encounter at newly promoted Swansea City this afternoon and it is a return to the Liberty Stadium for Roberto Martinez and his assistant Graeme Jones.
A warm reception will be awaiting the Latics and their boss to say the least, the home fans will be trying to make this particular corner of South Wales as intimidating as possible to help their team grab some precious Premier League points.
Swansea found life in the fast lane a little tough in their opener against Manchester City on Monday, but they will be looking to put a good show on today and hopefully get their season started.
Latics somewhat stuttered to a draw against Norwich last Saturday, a bit better finishing and it would have been a comfortable win, expect Hugo Rodallega to return to attack and also expect a return for Antolin Alcaraz to settle as shaky defence.
A lot has been made of the fact that the Latics face the three newly promoted sides in their first three fixtures, but sooner Norwich, Swansea and QPR than Man United, Chelsea and Man City, a share of the spoils is the least that should be travelling up the M6 this evening, same performance as last week with some steadier finishing and all three will be winging their way to Wigan.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘I feel Swansea will surprise many sides with the manner they play. The cohesion they’ve got in the group and certain individuals can really hurt sides, and I think Swansea will be the revelation of this season.
‘The lessons we learned last season from the opening game against Blackpool were quite clearly there to be seen in our performance against Norwich and we need to make sure that we use that in the next two games.
‘They’re tough games because you’re expected to control them, and at this stage of the season I would say the promoted sides are very tough to play against.’
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers:
‘They have had the resources and the finances over the years to build a good squad,’ he said.
‘Franco Di Santo I know very well having worked with him at Chelsea, and Victor Moses is a big talent who I think could have a big year.
‘James McCarthy is a very good footballer and Hugo Rodallega is a talent as well.
‘Wigan have some very good players, but I believe in my group.’
Swansea City Team News:
Captain Garry Monk is doubtful, but Neil Taylor returns following the completion of his three match ban
Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Steven Caulker, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate, Kemy Agustien, Leon Britton, Joe Allen, Stephen Dobbie, Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer, Leroy Lita, Scott Sinclair, Danny Graham, Jose Moreira, Mark Gower, Andrea Orlandi, Luke Moore, Neil Taylor
Player to watch: Scott Sinclair
Following his spell at the Latics Sinclair will be looking to show what we could have had, former players eh!
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Steve Gohouri is still recovering from his calf injury, Adrian Lopez should be fine despite suffering a nast head would last weekend and Antolin Alcaraz could return
Ali Al-Habsi, Emmerson Boyce, Antolin Alcaraz, Gary Caldwell, Maynor Figueroa, Ben Watson, Momo Diame, James McCarthy, Jordi Gomez, Victor Moses, Hugo Rodallega
Player to watch: Victor Moses
Moses has been on fire so far, through preseason and in last weeks opener against Norwich
Man On Fire
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Swansea have met on 19 previous occasions.
Latics 10 wins, Swansea 7, draws 2
Last Six Meetings
26/10/2010 – Carling Cup – Wigan 2 Swansea 0
6/01/2001 – League Div 2 – Wigan 2 Swansea 0
2/08/2000 – League Div 2 – Swansea 0 Wigan 0
5/01/1997 – League Div 3 – Wigan 3 Swansea 2
9/10/1996 – League Div 3 – Swansea 2 Wigan 1
4/05/1993 – League Div 2 – Swansea 2 Wigan 1
Phil Dowd (Staffs)
Why not take a look at our excellent ‘Meet The Ref’ article
Phil Dowds Card Watch 2011/12:
Games – 2, yellows – 15, reds – 0
Head says 1-1 draw
Heart 2-1 Latics win, as always go with the heart